We have invited Morten to our brewery and sat down to learn what makes him tick and how does he sees the world around him.
WHERE DO YOU GET THE BEST FOOD IN CPH?
Copenhagen obviously has a great food scene and I have my personal favorites on all tiers. From a dirty shawarma at Kebabistan on Vesterbro to a fancy dinner at Mielcke & Hurtigkarl in Frederiksberg Have, not to talk about the usual Michelin-venues. Did I mention I love contrasts? The latest amazing food experience I had though was at Pauli in Sydhavnen. Tiny restaurant run by passionate people in a very unassuming part of town. They have set menus where you choose from Sea, Land and Green. Very inclusive and
definitely a must try!
WHAT PART OF THE CITY IS YOUR FAVORITE AND WHY?
I love the medieval streets of Copenhagen. The ones with the most history. My wife and I live here ourselves, in a building from 1812 and when you know why the buildings are shaped the way they are, why they all have a certain height and why the streets have quirky names like Knabrostræde and Naboløs and when you can visualize what kind of events that took place in these streets over the centuries, then it becomes more than just a place to live, it’s history, and that’s pretty cool.
BEST MOCKTAIL/PRODUCT MEMORY?
First of all I am not a big fan of the word “mocktail”. It’s kind of the derogatory word for a non-alc cocktail that makes people think of sugary, unfulfilling kids-drinks that bartenders reluctantly make when they take an order for a “mocktail”. I like “non-alc cocktails" because that’s what they are. Or "Mindful cocktails” as that suggests that some effort has gone into creating them. So my best “mocktail” memory was exactly that. A mocktail. Before starting ISH I was out for dinner with a bunch of friends. Everyone ordered a Dark & Stormy. I love Dark & Stormies, but told the waiter I wasn’t drinking alcohol at the moment. With a confident smile she ensured me that she would work around that. But when she came back with a ginger beer & apple juice concoction it was clear that the poor thing had nothing to work with. How on earth was she supposed to make me a non-alc Dark & Stormy!? That was one of the inspiring moments that led me to create ISH.
IF YOU HAD TO IMAGINE A FUTURE PRODUCT ON THE SPOT, WHAT WOULD THAT BE?
Bourbon! I really like Bourbon. But it makes me too drunk too fast so I hardly ever drink it. I want to create a Bourbon that feels like a 20-30% ABV Bourbon, but with 0% alcohol. One that you can enjoy neat or on the rocks and get a mindblowing flavor experience. That would be awesome!
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE SELFCARE ACTIVITY?
I was recently challenged to run a marathon. Not something I’ve ever had on any
bucketlist whatsoever, but somehow I am now all about running and the crazy thing is that I really enjoy it. I love putting on a podcast and just run. I am not fast and I have no desire to be fast, I just like to run. It clears my head, gives me plenty of fresh air, plus I learn new things from the podcasts. It’s brilliant!
WHAT ARE YOUR FLAVOUR MOCKTAIL PAIRING FOR THIS FALL?
Is it too obvious to go with the ISH version of the Dark & Stormy? Seriously though, this is a big reason why ISH is what it is today. Basically it’s our non-alc Rum, ISH Caribbean Spiced mixed with ginger beer, a drizzle of simple syrup, a squeeze of lime and finally a dash of Angostura bitters. I will bet you can’t tell it apart from an alc-version.
WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN 10 YEARS?
In 10 years from now I will be 51 years old. My wife and I will probably be living in another country, somewhere warm preferably, and together we will spend most of our time helping young founders and early stage startups. I think that’s the best gift of all, to be able to pass along all the learnings we’ve accumulated during our own journey. Also I believe it’s a great way to stay current and stay in the game - which might be the secret to eternal youth.
HOW ARE YOU TRYING TO INCLUDE MORE RESPONSIBLE PRACTICES THROUGH YOUR WORK?
The number one most social responsible thing we all can do is to inspire people to drink more mindfully. I am not anti alcohol but I am aware of the detriment that comes with unhealthy alcohol consumption. These negative effects are what’s making governments limit and regulate alcohol the way they are. They know it’s not great for any society or community. But I don’t believe that restrictions are the way forward, I believe that if we can make it natural to consume alcohol responsibly, and then we don’t need a bunch of regulations. We can enjoy with moderation. Together. Mindfully. Being a FMCG brand we also have to take responsibility for our productions. That’s why we have mapped our full CO2 emission overview and instigated a reduction program. For example our can lines are now running on solar and hydro, lowering our CO2 emissions. We are changing to light weight glass bottles to reduce material use and shipping plus we
adhere to the recycling programs in all the markets we sell in. We will never be a CO2 neutral operation because we produce stuff, and stuff takes its toll on the planet, but we can make sure to set our ambition to do it the most responsible way possible.
WHAT ARE YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGES IN YOUR WORK?
Staying patient. It takes time to build a category. It takes time to build a brand. It takes times to create products. It takes time to change behavior and it takes time to introduce something new into a very conventional segment. These are all things that makes the ISH journey fun and rewarding, but in all honestly it can also feel incredibly exhausting at times.
FAVORITE TRAVEL DESTINATION, AND WHY?
Anywhere with lush nature and sun. It doesn’t have to be a specific destination, actually I prefer exploring new destinations rather than returning to the same spot.